New Mexico Governor Suspends Gun Rights in Albuquerque for “Public Health Emergency”

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Friday suspended laws that allow open and concealed carry of firearms in Albuquerque for 30 days after declaring a  public health emergency. The order, in my view, is flagrantly unconstitutional under existing Second Amendment precedent.  It could also be a calculated effort to evade a ruling by making the period of suspension so short that it becomes moot before any final decision is reached by a court.

The order cites recent cases of gun-related violence in and around the city, including the killing of an 11-year-old boy dead and the wounding of a woman in their vehicle in an apparent road rage incident after a baseball game.

Grisham declared that “as I said yesterday, the time for standard measures has passed. And when New Mexicans are afraid to be in crowds, to take their kids to school, to leave a baseball game—when their very right to exist is threatened by the prospect of violence at every turn—something is very wrong.”

Democratic leaders have increasingly turned to a claim used successfully during the pandemic in declaring a health emergency to maximize unilateral authority of governors. There have also been calls to declare racism a public health emergency, supported by groups like the American Public Health Association. Transgender programs have also been declared a public health emergency by some groups. The motivation behind many of these calls is not to negate constitutional rights, but the question is whether such declarations allow governors discretion to suspend or curtail individual rights.

As the list of claimed health emergencies grow, even state Democratic judges may begin to balk at the obvious end run around constitutional rights.

The order allows for an expansion to other cities that meet the threshold for violent crime if 1,000 or more violent crimes per 100,000 residents have occurred per year since 2021. It also sets a threshold of 90 firearms-related emergency room visits per 100,000 residents have occurred between July 2022 and June of this year.

The taking away of individual rights as an emergency measure is hardly new. For centuries, governments have claimed that the suspension of individual rights is necessary for the good of citizens.

What is striking about this effort is the short specified period. By setting a 30-day period, the Governor makes it difficult to secure a final decision. She could face a preliminary injunction in that time. However, if she gets a sympathetic trial judge, the time could run out before a final ruling can be secured on appeal. In any case, it makes it less likely that the case can be taken to the Supreme Court or even through the federal court system.

Yet, challengers could argue that the matter is not moot when the order can be and is likely to be repeated in the future. That is always a challenging claim to make, but it is clearly true in this case. What is clear is that this is unambiguously and undeniably unconstitutional under existing precedent.

Even if an injunction is secured on the basis of a presumptively unconstitutional act, many will of course celebrate the boldness of Grisham in taking away an individual right under a clever measure. It is, however, too clever by half. If a court decides that this is not moot at the end of the period, New Mexico could supply a vehicle to curtail future such claims.

We have seen how Democratic strongholds have proven the greatest assets for gun-rights advocates.
Major Democratic cities are delivering lasting self-inflicted wounds to gun control efforts with poorly conceived and poorly drafted measures.

In 2008, the District of Columbia brought us District of Columbia v. Heller, the watershed decision declaring that the Second Amendment protects the individual right of gun possession.

In 2010, Chicago brought us McDonald v. City of Chicago, in which the Court declared that that right is incorporated against state and local government.

However, no state has done more for the Second Amendment than New York.  The state has been a fountain of unconstitutional laws — and the basis for a series of wins for Second Amendment advocates.

New Mexico could now prove the next big opportunity for gun rights advocates in tackling the public health rationale for gun control.

269 thoughts on “New Mexico Governor Suspends Gun Rights in Albuquerque for “Public Health Emergency””

  1. Why not make shooting and killing someone with a gun illegal and punishable with imprisonment? Oh, wait, ……


  3. Dead. Spot. On. The folks in NM need to stand firm and ignore this “order”. Maybe this will finally open up their eyes as to what today’s “democrats” really are: satan worshiping ghouls.

    1. The order will; only be enforced against the crook and the mugger and the carjacker and the gang member. The cops know who they are. They’re not gonna arrest some young man who is open carrying because he was to work late nights in the ghetto to support his family.

        1. The cops know. That’s why “Stop & Frisk” was so effective. There were those who would try to convince you that the PD would arbitrarily toss a guy up against the wall and pat him down for weapons. It wasn’t arbitrary: they knew exactly who they were looking for. These weren’t innocent victims, but hardened criminals.

          1. Stop and frisk was an ingenious form of “gun control”, especially in states such as New York where carrying an illegal weapon led to mandatory prison sentences (see, NY Giants receiver Plaxico Burress). When stop and frisk was in effect, the smarter of the bad guys were smart enough to not be out in public with a concealed weapon because of the risk of being stopped, questioned, and frisked. Many states (like New York) have gone on to (or tried to) make it illegal, or difficult) for otherwise law-abiding citizens to legally carry a concealed weapon by making doing so a crime and at the same time “protecting” a likely weapon-carrying criminal from being stopped, questioned, and if necessary, frisked. How does this protect innocent citizens?

  4. Turley,

    I wonder why you never broached this subject:
    Section 1983, but applies specifically to violations of the New Mexico Constitution. It allows individuals to bring civil lawsuits against government actors who have violated their state constitutional rights, and provides for damages to be awarded to the plaintiff if the lawsuit is successful.

    It appears that the Governor doesn’t have any qualified immunity.
    So its not just the impending court case but the civil cases or class action lawsuit …

    She really didn’t think this one thru.


  5. Y’all have it pretty much covered it. The movie, “Dumb and Dumber”, seems to be coming true in America today.

  6. ” Mixed message? Bush foundation chief who organized unity letter previously leaked Steele dossier ”…

    This finding is of exceptional importance because it explains what happened in the Trump administration. Trump was not a politician. He had no Rolodex. He hired people loyal to the Bush family. Trump was an outsider, and many Republicans afraid of outsiders preferred Bush to Trump. That meant, the day Trump won the Presidency, a considerable portion of the Republican Party was unified but unified against Trump. Moreover, Trump was not a globalist and wanted to rid Washington of the swamp. Many Republicans are swamp critters and are in line with the globalists.

    The forces against Trump were greater against him than almost at any time in US history. Even Lincoln had considerable support from his party, the bureaucracy, and the news media.

    That the Trump administration was so successful in many different areas demonstrates how great a leader he is. He did this under unsurmountable blind hatred and succeeded with little political support, which surrounded one of the worst periods of Presidential history.

    1. S. Meyer– “That the Trump administration was so successful in many different areas demonstrates how great a leader he is. He did this under unsurmountable blind hatred and succeeded with little political support, which surrounded one of the worst periods of Presidential history.”


      Exactly true and why it is so important for him to be the next president.

      1. Thanks, Young. I look at Trump as a movement which adds to him a lot of gravitas, but the Republicans are lucky as all their candidates are good.

  7. If you allow the government to break the law for an “EMERGENCY,”
    they will create “EMERGENCIES” to break the law.
    Ascribed to Andy Warhol

    1. The Constitution provides NO “emergency powers” to the legislative or executive branches.

      Neither the legislative nor executive branches may deny citizens their constitutional rights and freedoms, including those of mobility, privacy, security in their persons, dominion over private property, etc.

      Congress may suspend habeas corpus only in cases of rebellion or invasion.

      1. @George…

        Do you expect the constitution to say that it can be suspended in case of emergency?

        The point is that you’re suspending the constitutional rights of citizens in the event of an emergency for the duration of the emergency.
        Look at what happened to Japanese Americans during WW2.

        You have a natural disaster like Katrina.

        This is not to excuse her, but the Gov is taking a leap of faith that she can claim legal firearm ownership is cause for a health emergency.

        1. Seems she feels that not only is legal firearm ownership somehow a health emergency, apparently, as she sees it, the crime rate is also, somehow, a health emergency too.
          Since crime has been everywhere since the beginning of human history and always will be everywhere, that about completes setting the table for permanent acceptance of government control under fiat orders on the whim of any tyrannical government official with ongoing legislature free mandates, lock downs and forced compliance during emergencies and ending with the suspension of The Second Amendment and all other Constitutional Amendments The Second Amendment makes possible, permanently in every state.
          Post Constitutional America begins just as soon as everyone turns in their guns.

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